Our journey through pregnancy, birth, and postpartum with Shiela was powerful, transformational, and magical. A prenatal appointment held so much more than just measuring my belly and listening to fetal heart tones – laughing at the new quirks of my changing body, processing my dreams, answering my husband’s questions, visioning our birth plan, listening to the baby’s energy, etc. As a doula and midwifery student myself, I have attended many births. Shiela helped me process some of the traumas I had witnessed so I could be present and attuned with my own pregnancy. Her deep listening, openness to all emotion, and encouraging words helped me immensely as I shed my fears.
I spent most of my labor in the shower and pacing the hallway, in a trance of expansive love. I felt so safe at home – I knew she was tracking all levels of our progress, so I could focus inward. My body intuitively knew which positions to assume and what I needed – and Shiela always respected this. Shiela has a very grounding, non-obtrusive presence. She was the perfect birth guardian: quiet, attuned, trusting. I was able to totally tune into my own intuition, push as my body dictated, and birth our baby gently into our own hands. The most incredible moments of my life! I felt so overjoyed, powerful, and aglow in love! I remember saying shortly after the birth, “I feel amazing! I could do that again right now!”
It was so nourishing to crawl into our own bed after the birth and more or less stay there for weeks! Our baby, Azalea, did the breast crawl and self-attached to my breast and I know this empowering initiation for her helped our breastfeeding journey go smoothly. Postpartum home visits ensured that our sacred nest of bonding and rest was protected.
We are forever grateful for the support Shiela gave us as we started our family. We highly recommend her midwifery services to any family who wants a caregiver that holds space for the spiritual, emotional, relational, and physiological aspects of pregnancy and birth.
O’Nell, Brian and Azalea Starkelsen